I’m Grateful that We Walk Together

Patheos has given us a writing prompt for the month of November, to consider in gratitude someone who has helped us along on our journey of faith.  I am lucky to say that I could write a month long series considering the important roles that my mother and father, my grandparents, aunts, friends, and of course the builders have played in my life in faith, the important ways that each one has helped me to understand my place in this world as a child of God.  I know, however,  that there is one … [Read more...]

Our Vocation is Love

This week I have spoken with several friends who are worried.  They are worried about sick children, aging parents, and the political results.  They are worried about small business, climate change, about power outages, and in a very broad way about the values of the country in which our children will be adults.  These worries are very real, whether they are immediate or distant.  I was worried, too, and feeling quite powerless, or ineffectual, as I was driving my huge van in the snow this … [Read more...]

If you can read this, you must have power…

The 4 builders on the East Coast are hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy.  We have been sharing preparation tips, many gleaned from the previous experience of our Texas builders, and more recently from our own experience with Irene. Where I live, in Central New Jersey, the roads are closed, so we are to "shelter in place."  We went out before the storm and bought lots of convenience foods.  We will be able to use our stove even in the power goes out, but I think that we will want to keep … [Read more...]

My Fall Happy Place


One of the best things about the place where I live is the proximity to a working farm which is tourist friendly.  I grew up in a big city but dreamed about life on a farm, and this is just enough of a taste for me, a mile down the road.   … [Read more...]

Lifting up our Mentors

Small things that we say (and do) can have a huge impact on other families in ways that we may never know. When I was pregnant with my first child, 12 years ago, our friend Amy, who was the wife of my husband's co-worker, gave me great advice: "I work at a demanding job and I train for marathons, my days are pretty hectic, but I make sure that I keep the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies on hand." Whether it was a school bake sale emergency, a play date going sour, or a teenager having … [Read more...]

Dipping a toe in to the political waters

Was any one else really embarrassed by the debate last night?  I'm not sure whether to blame the format, the moderator or the candidates, but I am leaning towards the latter.  The time clock would expire and a candidate would just keep talking and talking until finally the moderator had to interrupt.  Then, they would talk over her, or object to her interruption.  Which left the moderator in the position of having to decide whether to tell the President of the United States to sit down and … [Read more...]

Logging Off for the Year of Faith

I tried out facebook at first because I thought that it was important for me to understand social media before my children were old enough to use it.  I found that I really enjoyed catching up with old friends, and adding depth to local friendships by seeing what my friends were posting.  I like facebook more than I thought.  Also, since homeschooling means that I am away from other adults for most of the day, it is nice to feel connected to people and to be able to share when something cute, … [Read more...]

Book basket Notes for October

My preschoolers are transitioning from apples to pumpkins. My early elementary will learn about Columbus this month, then the settlers/Thanksgiving, then the revolution (Washington Crossing the Delaware), and then Washington's presidency leading up to Presidents Day. That will take us through February in simple cultural history, all using book baskets. My older ones would like to spend October exploring the Electoral College and then stay up late on Election night and fill in a map as the … [Read more...]

Dress My Tween – An Update


I want to thank all of you who gave advice on dressing my tween, I think we have made some really good progress!  Here are some of the things I learned from you: 1) Spend more, be choosy, have less. She is old enough to take care of her clothes, and the styles at the big box stores are too tacky, so we had to spend a little bit more.  This meant that I just bought one dress for church, and I paid full price.  We found a cute sweater dress at Gymboree.  It cost $39, which is really … [Read more...]

Apple Antics

Red and I took our families on an apple picking outing at a nearby family owned orchard.  This is the 4th year that we have picked apples together, and it struck me that annual projects like this really allow us to see how much our children have grown.  We brought 12 children to the orchard, but they really were easy to manage - two babies in Ergos, two toddlers helped by older sisters, two preschoolers who could walk alone, some big boys who could toss a football when they were tired of … [Read more...]